Satellite Internet vs Cable Internet – Everything You Need To Know


Before you get a new internet connection, there are some things you need to consider. While many people are aware of cable internet, the pros and cons of a satellite connection may elude them. So, considering both options is essential if you don’t want to regret your decision.  

While for some people cable might be the better choice, others would prefer satellite internet. To decide which is better for you, you have to consider some variables. For example, Spectrum internet plans can vary with price and speed. Similarly, AT&T or Xfinity might be unavailable in your state. So, to help you make a decision, here is a run-down of everything you need to know about satellite and cable internet.  

How does Cable Internet Work?  

As the name suggests, underground cables carry cable internet. The coaxial cables are the same for TV connections. Therefore, most of the time, you can bundle cable and TV connections.  

Your local cable television company provides cable internet. The provider will give you a modem that connects to the main underground wires. The device can transmit the internet through a LAN or Wi-Fi. The technology is older than satellite internet but many still use it.  

How does Satellite Internet Work?  

Unlike cable internet, satellite does not use any underground cables. Satellites orbiting the earth relay the signal. You will have to install a receptor in your house to receive and convert it into an internet connection.  

Satellite internet connections are relatively new and are available anywhere as long as you have a receptor. The satellite in space receives a signal from land and passes it on to the receptor on your roof. The receptor sends it to your modem. The strength of the signal depends upon the ability of the receptor to accept and transmit.  

Advantages and Disadvantages  

Both types of connections can be suitable for you, depending upon your needs. There are many variables in which one can be better than the other. Let’s take a look at each one of them individually.  

Service Availability  

Since cable TV operators provide cable internet, the availability is widespread. Most areas that have cable TV will also have cable internet. Although if you live in a remote or rural area with limited cable TV access, you may not find cable internet.  

Satellite internet is available all over the USA as it uses a wireless signal. If you live in a rural area, satellite internet might be the only available choice. Moreover, as the receptor has to receive a signal constantly, weather conditions may affect your connection. Signal reception may take a hit without a clear sky.  

Internet Speed  

Cable internet provides internet packages with speeds ranging from 20-100 Mbps. The speed for cable internet is suitable for all kinds of usage, such as domestic or commercial. Most people who want to download stuff at high speeds prefer cable internet. One of the downfalls of cable is sharing bandwidth with other users. You might experience more latency and reduced speed at peak times in the day.  

Satellite internet has a generally lower speed than cable and can range from 1-15 Mbps. So, technically, the fastest satellite internet can still be slower than the slowest cable internet. As satellite signals have to travel more than cable, the signal can experience more latency as well. If you play online games or want to download faster, a satellite is not the right choice.  

Internet Service Costs  

Cable internet providers have various plans and bundles, so the cost can vary. It can range anywhere from $25-$100. Your overall cost can be lower by bundling up internet and TV connections. The modem comes along with the service set up, and most providers ask for an installation fee.  

For satellite internet, the cost can range from $50-$100 depending upon the provider. There is an installation fee, and you also have to buy the receptor for your roof. Since satellite internet has considerably low speed, you will have to pay additional costs for faster connections.  

Now that you have all the facts, you can make an informed decision about your internet connection. Make sure that you consider where you live and what you mostly use the internet for. These variables make the most difference in tilting your choice towards one option. For most households and offices, a cable connection might be a better option. It is readily available, comes at a lesser cost and provides more speed.